FanHouse colleague Nate Jones and I had a lengthy email conversation over the past few days regarding the future of the Pistons, and it ended up making for what I think to be a very interesting post. I hope you end up reading the whole thing, but at the very least I'd like to draw your attention to one of the points we discussed:
Nate Jones: Don't you think Bill Laimbeer would be a much better fit for this team?
Matt Watson: I think Bill Laimbeer's attitude would be a welcome addition, but I don't know anything about his coaching chops. He has won a couple of WNBA titles, but I don't have a clue how he'd fare in the big boy's league. Believe me, I grew up idolizing the guy, so part of me really, really wants to see him roaming the sidelines. But another part of me doesn't want to see him try and fail, eventually laughed out of town like Alan Trammell was with the Tigers.
The state of NBA coaching is awfully sorry. As much as I think the Pistons could stand letting Flip go, I don't know who out there would be a better fit -- especially when you consider the two most qualified guys, Rick Carlisle and Larry Brown, have already burned their bridges in Detroit.
The "Flip Saunders vs. Bill Laimbeer" debate is obviously now a moot point, but since I hadn't specifically weighed in before, I at least wanted to address it before putting it to bed. Ideally we'd get a chance to see Laimbeer perform as an NBA assistant before asking him to take the next step, but I don't see why Saunders would ever consider adding Laimbeer to his staff since it'd be pretty obvious he'd be grooming Laimbeer to take his job.
So for as excited as I'd be to see this happen, I don't know how the logistics would work without taking a huge leap of faith. I'm sure a lot of you would be fine with the team taking that leap next season, but given Detroit's recent fickle history with firing coaches, I can understand the desire to give Saunders at least a little extra room on the leash.